12:25pm: Galette’s agent, Alvin Keels, has also weighed in, confirming (via Twitter) that there’s no new deal in place for his client.
11:18am: Earlier this morning, Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports reported (via Twitter) that the Saints have reached an agreement in principle on an extension for edge defender Junior Galette. However, Galette himself denied the report, tweeting “These rumors have to stop.” Larry Holder of the New Orleans Times-Picayune also heard from Galette, who said he has yet to agree to anything and that he’s “shocked” by the story (Twitter links).
Galette, who inked a three-year deal with the team in March of 2013, technically still had two years remaining on that contract, so if New Orleans is willing to extend his deal at this point, the team would be rewarding him for a breakout season in which he became a full-time player and recorded 12 sacks. Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required) ranked Galette as the 12th-best 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL last season, out of 42 qualified players.
As Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap details, Galette’s deal can void after the 2014 season if he records 24 total sacks in 2013 and 2014, which further explains why the Saints may be exploring an extension. If Galette matches his 2013 production this season, he’ll be eligible to hit the open market in March. For now, the former undrafted free agent is slated to earn base salaries of $1.4MM this year and next, along with $600K annually in roster and workout bonuses.
It seems unlikely that Getlin would be entirely off base with his report, so perhaps the two sides are working toward finalizing an extension before the regular season begins, and someone with the team or with Galette’s camp jumped the gun on confirming an agreement. I doubt either the Saints or Galette would be interested in continuing talks during the regular season, so we should get some clarity on the situation soon, one way or another.